(USNewsMag.com) – On June 24, Dahrran Diedrick, a former star running back for Nebraska who went on to play in the Canadian Football League, died after battling cancer. Diedrick, 44, played in the Canadian Football League for 10 years for the Montreal Alouettes, helping the team win a pair of Grey Cups.
Born in Jamaica, Diedrick grew up in Toronto, becoming the Nebraska Cornhuskers’ first Canadian recruit.
At 6-foot, 225 pounds, Diedrick’s breakout season in Nebraska came in 2001, when he led the Big 12 Conference with 1,299 yards rushing. During the 2001 season, Diedrick scored 15 touchdowns. Over the course of his college football career, Diedrick had 2,745 yards rushing on 502 carries and 26 touchdowns.
In 2001, he was a key member of the Cornhuskers’ run to the national championship until the Rose Bowl, when Nebraska was ultimately defeated by the Miami Hurricanes.
In the 2002 Canadian Football League draft, Diedrick was selected in the third round; however, he opted to stay in college. He went to the NFL, signing a contract as an undrafted free agent with the Chargers as well as appearing in preseason games for the Green Bay Packers. In 2004, he played a regular-season game for Washington.
In 2013, he played for the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, going on to play in 2014 for the Alouettes. He finished his Canadian Football League career with a total of 872 rushing yards on 179 carries and six touchdowns.
In 2014, Diedrick was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, hepatosplenic gamma-delta T-cell lymphoma.
Those who knew him from his time playing football spoke of his death on social media, with his former teammate and former quarterback for the Alouettes, Anthony Calvillo, saying he was “far too young.”
Frank Solich, former Nebraska coach, said Diedrick was a “great kid” and a warrior.”
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